The Best Teachers Institute draws on the research and expertise of Ken Bain and James Lang, two of the leading writers and consultants in higher education today.
Ken Bain is the author of What the Best College Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2004), which won the 2004 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an outstanding book on education and society, and has been one of the top selling books on higher education. It has been translated into twelve languages and was the subject of an award-winning television documentary series in 2007. The sequel, What the Best College Students Do, also from Harvard University Press, won the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize in 2012, and has become an international best seller. Ken is an historian whose books focus primarily on mid 20th century US political history, and include The March to Zion and the forthcoming Last Journey Home: FDR and Friendship in Troubled Times. He founded teaching centers at four major universities (Vanderbilt, Northwestern, NYU, and Montclair State), served as a professor of history for more than thirty years (winning several teaching awards), and held various administrative posts, including vice provost and provost. He has given invited workshops or lectures at over four hundred universities and events--in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and has served as a special consultant with schools around the world. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenBain1 and click here for an extended bio.
James Lang is the author of Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016), a new book that draws on recent research in the learning sciences to help college faculty create dynamic and engaging courses, Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), which provides an overview of how both institutions and individual faculty members can help create cultures of academic integrity on their campuses, and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard University Press, 2010), which provides anecdotes and concrete suggestions for inexperienced and veteran teachers, keeping them on course as they navigate the calms and storms of classroom life. James writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he introduces readers each month to new research, programs, and people that support excellence in higher education. He edits a new series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for the University of West Virginia Press, and is a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster in higher education. He has given workshops or consultations at more than fifty colleges or universities in the US and abroad. Follow James on Twitter @LangOnCourse and click here for James's CV.
Additional Summer Institute Faculty
Melinda Maris is an award-winning teacher and scientist, whose work on evidence-based approaches to education is transforming the way we approach teaching and learning in all fields. She earned her B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary and her Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University, and post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins University. She has held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins, a medical school, liberal arts college, and a community college, among other places, providing her with insight into the teaching and learning needs of diverse learning environments. In her career, she has established five new teaching and learning centers at various institutions around the world. Awards include: Named Biology Scholar by the National Science Foundation and the American Society for Microbiology, Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow, and a National Endowment for the Humanities / Arthur Blank Teaching Fellow, highly competitive grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to implement transformative, authentic learning experience-based undergraduate science courses.
She is currently the founding Director of Student Learning and Educational Development and a Professor of Biology, at Vesalius College, a liberal arts college in Brussels, Belgium. She has been doing pioneering work on teaching and learning, using evidence-based approaches, and has quickly established herself as one of the rising stars on using research to improve student learning. Her workshop will focus on the use of Eric Mazur’s Conceptest and Peer Instruction as a powerful model of the Natural Critical Learning Environment. Participants will have a chance to engage in this revolutionary model that won the $500,000 Minerva Prize in 2014.
The Best Teachers Institute fellows include a range of other experts in the specific areas in which you might be seeking help for your institution. We work to put together a team that will meet your individual institutional needs, drawing on award-winning faculty in multiple disciplines and leading thinkers and visionaries in the field of higher education teaching and learning.
The Best Teachers Institute has also provided its consultation and workshop services to a limited number of secondary institutions that are striving to meet the highest standards of excellence for their students.